Saturday, June 9, 2007

Pactour Elite Southern Transcontinental: Day 0

Day 0: Seven Seas Best Western to Pacific Ocean (and back)
Mileage/Time: 13 miles/0:47
Work: 365 kJ

I'm doing a 17 day cross country bike ride. Starting in San Diego CA and finishing in Savannah GA. Company is called PacTour (website) and this year (2007) they are running a Elite Southern Transcontinental.

About 50 riders supported by 13 crew will be starting tomorrow. I'll be updating this blog on a daily basis. Here is a brief description from their website:

This tour average 175-210 miles per day across the deserts, mountains and prairies of the southern United States. Full support is offered to keep everyone rolling efficiently across the country. Riders who complete each day within the time limits will also qualify for the Race Across America solo division.

I arrived today (Saturday).

It's a short hop from Tucson to San Diego by Southwest Airlines.

My bike had already gone out a couple of days earlier.
Susan Notorangelo passed through Tucson on her way to San Diego on Thursday and she kindly offered to take my bike in her trailer.
As a result, I had only the official PacTour duffel bag (weighing 43lbs) plus a case for the laptop and electronics for me.

Made for a stress-free arrival at the airport.

The start hotel is the Seven Seas Best Western. It's about 6.5 miles from the Pacific ocean and we head east tomorrow morning at 6am. So today, I followed the route sheet to the beach at Mission Bay and back. Hence the mileage stats for day 0 at the top of this entry. I will be posting my GPS tracklog each day.

Here is the tracklog displayed both in Garmin's MapSource (upper picture) and Google Earth (lower picture):

My obligatory Pacific ocean shot:

Equipment? The stats and mapping are made possible by the cockpit (SRM PC V controller and Garmin Vista Cx - loaded with US street mapping):

The PacTour operation is impressively large and slick. An image of the trailers and of Lon Haldeman at the riders' meeting:

Tomorrow, we begin with what should become a familiar routine of getting up at 5am, breakfast at 5:30am, riding at 6:00am sharp. 126 miles to El Centro CA.